The Torre della Moletta, also known as Turris in Capite Circi or Turris de Arco, is located within the archaeological complex of the Circus Maximus and is so called because it stood near a mill operated by the water of the Fosso di San Giovanni. The tower, owned by the Frangipane family at least since 1145, has a square plan, built in tuff with limestone splinters, flint and irregular courses of bricks; it was surrounded by modest buildings and must have been part of a system of fortifications, demolished in 1943.
The Circus Maximus was built in the Murcia Valley and, under Julius Caesar, for the first time it was built in the form of a masonry structure; it was 600 meters long and 140 meters wide. It was the scene of the most popular Roman competitive contests, along with the gladiatorial games, and its protagonists, the charioteers of the quadrigas, were the darlings of the people. The circus was also used for events related to the political, social, and religious life of the city, such as triumphs, processions, and public executions.
Destroyed several times by fire, it was almost entirely rebuilt under the Emperor Trajan, in the second century AD, and most of the structures currently visible date to this period. In 357 AD, Emperor Constant II had a gigantic obelisk erected here, now in the Lateran. The Circus remained active until the first half of the sixth century; later it was used as an agricultural area; starting from the 19th century, it became the seat of the “Gazometro” plants and warehouses, until the early 1900s, when work on the archaeological walk was started.
In the 1930s, excavations were carried out which brought to light a large part of the hemicycle and the remains of the Arch of Titus. In the immediate postwar period, the area returned to green space, in which the ancient structures have been substantially abandoned.
The archaeological investigations and interventions of restoration, completed in 2016 and conducted by Roma Capitale, Capitoline Superintendence for Cultural Heritage with the technical contribution of Zetema Progetto Cultura, have created new visitor routes with special lighting systems.
CIRCO MAXIMO EXPERIENCE
Thanks to an innovative augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) project, it’s now possible to visit the Circus and explore its historical phases with the use of interactive visualization technologies to date never before employed in such a large outdoor area. With CIRCUS MAXIMO EXPERIENCE it is possible to see the life of the ancient valley flowing before the eyes, in a continuous cross-reference between present and past.
The tour, lasting about 40 minutes, is available in six languages (Italian, English, French, German, Spanish and Russian).
For more information, visit the official website
from Tuesday to Sunday at the following times:
from the last Sunday in October to the last Saturday in March
from 9.30 to 16.00 (last admission at 15.00);
from the last Sunday of March to the last Saturday of October
from 9.30 to 19.00 (last admission at 18.00)
Online purchase of tickets or call center 060608 is required (every day 9.00 - 19.00)
Contingent entry shifts by online purchasing or calling 060608.
MIC card owners and entitled to gratuity only by calling 060608.
Use the Print @ Home to print the purchase receipt or ticket in digital mode to be presented to the access control, at the booked time, without going to the ticket office.
To find out about all accessibility services, visit the Rome accessible section.